From early fall to late winter deer (bucks) will rub their antlers on the stem or trunk of a tree. Bucks do this to remove the velvet that has been growing on their antlers. Any tree in your landscape can be susceptible to damage. Trees that are damaged with vertical scrapes or shredded bark- can suffer minor to severe damage- depending on the temperatures and whether the damage is only on one side of the tree or all the way around. If you see evidence of this on trees in your garde, consider getting protectors for your trees.
1. My plants are covered in a black fungus! What do I do?
This is very confusing for customers as the first inclination is to spray with a fungicide to remove the black fungus from the foliage. While this will help eradicate the sooty mold it won’t cure the underlying problem of a bug infestation-usually aphids, whiteflies or scale. If your plants are quite black those bugs have been there for awhile. Treat your plants with an insecticide that will remove and control the bugs to keep your plants fungus free. Horticultural Oil or Spinosad are two good products to use.
2. When can I trim…..?? or, can I trim now….?
The majority of trimming should be done by now. Trimming encourages new growth so plants that have been trimmed prior to now will be able to harden off new growth prior to freezing. Hardy shrubbery like viburnum, ligustrum or hollies or trees like oaks and maples may be pruned in the winter, however all other flowering, semi-tropical and tropical plants should be trimmed as little as possible until spring.
3. My “rose/bougainvillea/flowering plant never blooms!
First determine if your plant is in the right location. Most flowering plants require full sun! If your plant has a lush, full, green appearance and is growing extremely well- but never flowers- the plants may be receiving too much nitrogen in the fertilizer it is getting. Stop in the Garden Center for advice on how to improve this problem.
4. My fruit/berry tree never produces well!
Again, make sure the plant is in the right location- ideally full sun. Fruit trees especially require a minimum of 6 hours of full sun. Secondly, if your tree flowers but no fruit presents- (a) you may not have sufficient honey bees pollinating your trees or (b) your irrigation spray head hits the tree directly when it is on- which will knock the blooms off or (c) the tree was sprayed with an insecticide when in flower or (d) there is too much nitrogen in the fertilizer you are using which makes for lush growth but no flowers.
5. When can I prune my Crape Myrtle Tree?
Crape Myrtles may be trimmed by the end of February. “Crape Murder” – the practice trimming Crape Myrtles all the way back to the trunks, is not a recommended practice. Shaping a tree, removing crossing branches and suckers are all good practices but trimming branches back that are larger than the diameter of your little finger, is not. Repeatedly doing this not only causes unsightly gnarls and galls but will shorten the life of your tree. Trimming Crape Myrtles too early can cause a flush of new growth if warmer temperatures occur, which will cause damage when another freeze occurs. Our professionals at VerdeGo can assist with many of your garden problems! Stop by and ask us.
6. What can I plant in the Fall?
Fall is a wonderful time to add trees and palms to your landscape. There are many cold hardy palms that will enhance your landscape- check out our selection of Pindo palms, Sabals, Sylvesters, Windmills and European Fan Palms, to name a few. Trees planted in the fall will get well rooted in by spring so will flush out beautifully when the warm spring temperatures arrive.
Does YOUR Landscape make your home look older than it should?
As you begin planning your Holiday parties and family gatherings now is a good time to evaluate your landscape. Many landscape shrubs only last 10-15 years before they become old, woody and spent.
Stand across the street and really look at your home:
• Are the shrubs over grown and covering windows?
• Are your shrub trunks too heavy and the tops rather bare from years of trimming?
• Can you clearly see the front door entrance? Are the bed lines clean, defined and flowing?
• Is there balance from one side of the home to the other?
Your landscape should complement and enhance your home while adding value as well as curb appeal. If you think your landscape needs a ‘tune up’ just bring in a photo for smaller areas and our Garden Center professionals can give you options and ideas. For a complete refurbishment simply call our office to set up an appointment for a free estimate.